One of the first considerations in the implementation of a mass notification system in a business setting is the population of the communications profiles for employees, particularly in situations where there is not much contact data available.
There are various ways of populating a system. One is to distribute a link, normally via e-mail in which the new system is introduced, and allow employees to sign up and express their preferences. The second, at least within AMG Alerts is to pre-load the system (via file upload) with some data, then use the AMG Alerts system to go out and solicit – via email – preference information, mobile phone numbers, and other relevant bits.
A third is to do it all internally, which works but of course always results in data that is high in “control” but usually lacking in comprehensiveness or accuracy.
The first two methods are the most popular, but in some applications, our potential customer will say “our people on the shop floor don’t have emails”. Notwithstanding that a more accurate statement would be “while we provide corporate email accounts to our office people, the shop personnel are not assigned emails and we don’t know their personal ones”, it is still a challenge to get them ramped up.
Here are some of the options for overcoming this:
- Manually distribute the signup URL to the shop people and let them do it that way. Of course, your participation rate could be a little less than perfect to start, but that will get fixed after the first “emergency” (Note that you can use an application like TinyURL to to make the shortest possible URL for the employees if they have to actually type it)
- Another cool way of providing the signup link is via a QR code printed in some prominent spot. But not everyone has a reader app on their phone. On the other hand, it is free and useful so it may be a good way of introducing employees to the concept because it has value in other communications
- Put the signup link somewhere within the company web site. People can navigate to it at their liesure, perhaps from home
- Designate desk or kiosk with the signup for AMG Alerts up and ready to go and allow a few days for employees to spend a minute putting in their profiles
- Have front-line managers or HR gather email addresses for each employee, and then that could be part of an initial upload. Then our system can be used to go out and ask for the rest of the information in the profile
- A slight variation of the above is to get ALL the information, mimicking on some paper form the information on the AMG Alerts signup, and then pur that in manually or via an upload
The key, unless the system is being maintained completely internally, is to get email addresses for each employee because system maintenance then becomes so much easier using the tools on our site. Just like refrigerators, opinions, and phones, everyone in this day and age has at least one. It isn’t always effortless to get it but the rewards are well worth it!